Students studying outside the library

Goodall Environmental Studies Center dedication to highlight Earth Week

Goodall Environmental Studies Center

Event set held Tuesday, April 20, at Glendale

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College dedicated the Goodall Environmental Studies Center in Glendale, S.C., Tuesday, April 20, as a highlight to the college’s Earth Week activities.  A large crowd of Wofford alumni, board members, staff, faculty, students and friends, along with residents of the Glendale community attended the event.

Dozens of people participated in the Earth Day Bike, Run & Thoreauvian Saunter to Glendale Shoals for the event.  Other Earth Week events include an Earth Week Forum and a Lawson’s Fork Water Monitoring Day. (A full schedule of events, open to the public, can be found below.)

Wofford graduate and trustee D. Christian Goodall has made the lead gift for the college’s environmental studies center, which now bears his family’s name. Goodall, a 1979 Wofford graduate, is president and CEO of Continental American Insurance Co. in Columbia, S.C., which was acquired by Aflac in October 2009.

The Goodall Environmental Studies Center, overlooking the Lawson’s Fork of the Pacolet River and set in the historic textile mill town of Glendale, is the hub of activities for Wofford’s environmental studies program. From the vantage point of the restored mill office building, students have on-the-ground, real-time interactions with the natural and cultural issues they read about in the classroom.

“At Wofford College, the ‘environment’ is not an abstract concept,” says President Benjamin B. Dunlap. “It’s where we live; it’s where we’re going to live; and, thanks to the Goodall family, it’s also where we’re going to study.

“The Goodall Environmental Studies Center represents a whole new dimension of interdisciplinary research and fieldwork at Wofford,” Dunlap continues. “We currently offer the state’s only undergraduate major in environmental studies, and our state-of-the-art facility is in many ways unique in both its location and its programs.”

Goodall says it was important to him to provide funding for the environmental studies center and program because of global impact of issues being explored. “I was so impressed with the way the college has set up the center, on the Lawson’s Fork Creek, where students can have an incredible opportunity to study contemporary environmental issues in such a truly unique setting. I’ve not seen anything else like it. Nobody can ignore the fact that climate change is a global reality, and now more than ever, we see the importance of environmental studies programs.”

John Lane, director of the center and associate professor of English at Wofford, notes that in environmental studies “we understand the importance of ‘long-range research and reflection.’ It takes time to know a place and to understand it. Thanks to the generosity of the Goodall gift to our program, we will be working with students and faculty on the river at Glendale for many generations to come.”

“The Goodall Environmental Studies Center, with its classroom, laboratories, and library, and its setting between the Lawson’s Fork Creek and the Glendale community, is emblematic of our interdisciplinary engagement with environmental challenges,” says Kaye Savage, director of the environmental studies program. “The Goodall family’s gift will enliven environmental studies for generations of students, and the many others who will participate in our programs there.”

The central great room of the Goodall Environmental Studies Center is a gathering place for students, faculty and community members to learn about such topics as environmental writing, sustainable living and the history, geography and culture of the Glendale community. A library and office space house program materials and serve as a base of operations for managing the use of the center.

The center has two laboratories – the Auto Bell Car Wash Laboratory and the B.G. Stephens Laboratory – for research ranging from toxicology studies in biology and chemistry courses to natural history surveys of flora and fauna.

A large deck is planned for classes, seminars and other activities, and a garden is under construction. It will contain a pollinator garden, a native grape vineyard, a bog, and herb, berry and heirloom vegetable beds. The garden will be open to the public and available for classroom use.

Sustainability features incorporated into the building restoration and renovation include state-of-the-art efficient heating and air-conditioning systems, employment of creek water for dual-flush commodes, and use of some of the building’s original furnishings.

The lead architect for the restoration and renovation project is Donnie Love of McMillan Paxdan Smith of Spartanburg.

Goodall, also a graduate of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, has served on Wofford’s Alumni Executive Council and now is on its board of trustees and the President’s Advisory Board. He is a former board member of Hammond School in Columbia, and he and his family have been supporters of a number of charitable organizations in the Midlands of South Carolina. Goodall also has served on a number of boards in the Columbia area, including Providence Hospital, the S.C. ETV Commission, Carolina First Bank, EdVenture Children’s Museum and the Salvation Army. He has been active in Wofford alumni activities, and has three daughters, including Elizabeth Goodall, a 2009 Wofford graduate. He is a member of the college’s National Campaign Steering Committee.

Wofford College Earth Week Activities:

Sunday, April 18
7 p.m. – Screening of Disney’s “Earth.” The Pavilion

Tuesday, April 20
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – annual Earth Day Festivities, Raffle and Lunch. Lawn of Main Building

1 to 4 p.m. – Earth Day Bike, Run & Thoreauvian Saunter to Glendale Shoals; starts at the main gate at Wofford and continues to the Goodall Environmental Studies Center in Glendale, S.C.

4 p.m. – Dedication of the Goodall Environmental Studies Center, Glendale, S.C.; reception and light snacks to follow

Wednesday, April 21
9 a.m. – National Wildlife Federation’s 2010 “Chill Out” Webcast Launch

Friday, April 23
Noon to 1 p.m. – Earth Week Forum and Luncheon; AAAS Room, Burwell Building

Saturday, April 24
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Lawson’s Fork Water Monitoring Day; Goodall Environmental Studies Center, Glendale, S.C.
Details: Dozens of local elementary school children, along with Wofford College students, will conduct water quality testing at Lawson’s Fork Creek at the Goodall Environmental Studies Center, Glendale, S.C. The program is modeled after World Water Monitoring Day, held on Sept. 18. The purpose is to build public awareness by involving citizens in basic monitoring of water bodies. The Environmental Protection Agency, along with USGS, Water Environment Federation, International Water Association, PerkinElmer, ITT and Smithfield, provide the water test kits. Those monitoring and testing their local bodies of water may post their results at